Monday, 31 October 2011

The Workmen’s Huts in the Theban Mountains -Project 2008–2013

I have loads of good Finish friends who love Egyptology, it seems to be a national characteristic :) This is an excellent website about the work of the Finnish team in Luxor for all those friends. The Workmen’s Huts in the Theban Mountains -Project 2008–2013: - Sent using Google Toolbar

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Dig Houses in Luxor (via EEF)

We(Marcel and Monica Maessen) are happy to announce that we have been able to put up three new articles about dighouses in the Luxor area.

Although investigiations into the houses' history is still ongoing, we felt we had to place our preliminary articles anyway. Not in the last place to hear the reactions of people who actually lived in one of the houses.

Here are the articles we placed:

The Metropolitan house:

The "The Garis Davies" house:

Theodore Davis House:

Complete photoshoots will be available in February 2012.

Looking forward to all reactions.

More information on one of these houses (or any dighouse in Egypt) is always welcome.
For this, please reply off-list to

Marcel and Monica Maessen
The t3.wy Project

Monday, 24 October 2011

Pork in Luxor

Pork in Luxor
You have always been able to get pork at Christian run restaurants like the Gaddis but now we have direct supplies from Germany from Luxor Foods. They had their launch party with lots of delicious samples.

Snippets from Egypt Property for Sale:

Some products needed cooking and the schnitzels, curry flavoured bacon were really tasty, others were cold meats like ham and Parma ham.

This is just a selection from their range and very welcome addition to the Luxor food front. When I first moved here it was hard to get cheddar cheese, sliced bread, sugar free cereals now with Arkwright’s, KZ and 40 we have great supermarkets with a good range of products. See below for the current product/price list

This is the current product price list in Egyptian pounds

511869 GRILL SAUSAGE 10 PER PACK. 1KG EP 162,50
67305 GYROS,2KG EP 303,--
57313 COLLAR STEAK, 160 GR. P.P. EP 27,--
67304 MINCED MEAT, 18%FAT, 2KG EP 282,--
67309 ESCALOPE (BREADED) 120 GR. P.P. EP 18,--
67310 CORDON BLEU, BREADED, 140 GR. P.P. EP 22,50
25031 BELLY, AS GROWN, FLANK, IN PIECE, 800 GR. EP 69,--
26017 FILET, 2 PIECES/PACK, 650 GR. EP 163,50
27098 SPARE RIBS, 2 PIECES/PACK, 1900 GR. EP 187,50
23037 COLLAR/NECK, BONELESS, 2.500 GR. EP 349,50
23037 COLLAR/NECK, BONELESS, 1.250 GR. EP 147,--
21617 TOPSIDE WITH CAP, 1 PIECE, 2.500 GR. EP 349,50
24267 LOIN BONELESS/ SLICES, 600 GR. EP 93,--
511866 COOKED HAM/SLICES, 200 GR. EP 37,50
511854 RAW SMOKED HAM, 500 GR. EP 144,--
511846 SMOKED BACON, IN SLICES, 500 GR. EP 133,50
511849 BREAKFAST BACON, IN SLICES, 500 GR. EP 117,--
511867 COOKED HAM, NOT SMOKED, 2000 GR. EP 369,--
511859 RAW SMOKED LOIN, 1800 GR. EP 360,--
511859 RAW SMOKED LOIN, 900 GR. EP 180,--
511861 COOKED HAM, PRAGUE STYLE, 2.200 GR. ½ PIECE, EP 459,--
511861 COOKED HAM, PRAGUE STYLE, 1.100 GR. ¼ PIECE, EP 220,50
511863 COOKED HAM IN STRIPS, 500 GR. EP 73,50
511868 P SMOKED LOIN, BONELESS, 1900 GR. EP 313,50
511868 S SMOKED LOIN, BONELESS, 600 GR. EP 99,--
511860 BACK PIECE, PRE COOKED/SMOKED. 2500 GR. EP 418,--

EL RHODA EL SHARIFA STREET, OPP. THE LOTUS HOTEL. (known locally as Little Britain St)

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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Working Shaduf | Irriigating the land in Luxor

Working Shaduf | Irriigating the land in Luxor: Meet Mohammed, he has a small plot of land which is still watered using a shaduf, the video clip shows it in operation.

A shaduf is a simply but effective method of raising water from a lower level, often a canal, to a higher level, usually a field. Shadufs are shown on ancient egyptian tombs and have be in use in Egypt for 5 thousand years. Often today they have been replaced by diesel pumps.

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THEBES (The Blackburn Egyptology Society)

Good news for Blackburn, you now have your own Egyptology Society. Here is details from their facebook page. (clever name) (2) THEBES (The Blackburn Egyptology Society): The Blackburn Egyptology Society (Thebes) is a newly formed society which will meet on a monthly basis, with the inaugural meeting on 7th November 2011.

Meetings will usually take place on the first Monday of each month, in the Abram Room, which is located on the first floor of Blackburn Library, and begin at 7.15pm (doors open 7pm).

Entry only £4.

Thebes 2011-12 Lecture Programme:

Monday 7th November 2011
“The Return of the Lost Pharaohs” by Michael Eastwood

Monday 5th December 2011
“From the Nile to the Kent: A New Look at Kendal Museum's Egyptology Collection” by Anna Garnett

Wednesday 4th January 2012
“Perfected Images: Masterpieces of Late Period Egyptian Art” by Dr Campbell Price

Monday 6th February 2012
“The Early Dynastic Naqada Royal Tomb: A Royal Tomb Assemblage from Earliest Pharaonic Egypt” by Hayley Meloy

Monday 5th March 2012
“The Fortress at the End of the World” by Dr Steven Snape, Senior Lecturer in Egyptology, University of Liverpool

Monday 2nd April 2012
“Old Kingdom Tomb Art” by Sarah Griffiths

Tuesday 8th May 2012
“Everywhere the Glint of Gold” by Claire Ollett

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Thursday, 20 October 2011

Virtual visit to the tomb of Djehuty TT11

what to do in Luxor at night

Some night time shots of Luxor, they have made a nice square in-between Luxor temple and MacDonald’s and this is a popular place for the locals to spend an evening. Families will picnic here late at night, enjoying food and drink. The kids play football and other games. All with the back drop of Luxor temple. A word about Christians and Muslims, in the video you can see two nuns crossing the square, we thank God that Luxor has not seen problems between Muslims and Christians and these two nuns can walk, relaxed and chatting in front of Luxor’s most famous mosque Abu Hajaj

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

I went on this trip some time ago and thoroughly enjoyed it. Recommended for an evening in Luxor. Nice to see they have a website now. - Sent using Google Toolbar

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Council of Antiquities survey paves way for land sell-off - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Council of Antiquities survey paves way for land sell-off - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: For the first time since the French expedition to Egypt in 1789, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) is to establish a comprehensive inventory of the land it owns around Egypt.

Such an inventory will entail archaeologists carrying out major archaeological surveys of these plots in order to declare them protected archaeological sites.

Mostafa Amine, secretary-general of the SCA, told Ahram Online that lands declared free of monuments or artefacts will be offered for investment. He continued that lands housing movable artefacts will be declared open for investment after all authentic objects have been removed to museums.

The inventory processes will led by Atef Abul Dahab, head of the Ancient Egyptian department at the SCA, who promised the inventory would be completed as soon as possible. Abul Dahab explains that SCA archaeologists will begin investigating lands originally in the possession of private individuals and governmental authorities which were transferred to the SCA whilst investigations were made into the possible existence of antiquities.

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Saturday, 15 October 2011

Jane Akshar's place, flats in luxor - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor

Such a nice review from a revolution guest, well she was staying here while it was going on.

Jane Akshar's place, flats in luxor - Review of Flats in Luxor, Luxor, Egypt - TripAdvisor: I visited Flats in Luxor twice in early 2011, before and after the revolution. The first time was to make a connection to a dajabiya that took me to Aswan (arranged by Jane--and it was an excellent trip). I was supposed to return to Luxor from Aswan to visit the tombs and temples there, but the trains stopped running during the revolution, so I returned the next month as I was living in Europe for the year. Jane is a treasure. She helped me so much, mostly with information about the tombs and temples but also had dinner with me one night (I was traveling alone) and hooked me up with a group of French tourists so that I could go to Abydos without breaking the bank. I stayed in an apartment in her building (there are several to choose from) on the top floor, and this was perfect, in large part because it gave me access to Jane and her library but also for the spectacular view of the area. The apartments are on the west bank of the Nile. There is a village but it is also very rural which appealed to me--there were banana plantations, donkeys roaming around, and the gorgeous green-green everywhere of Egypt near the Nile. I felt like I was really in the country, not insulated by some Western-oriented resort on the east side of the river, and this suited me just fine. I walked into the village, rode the ferry across the river to see the temples there, enjoyed interacting with the locals. I recommend reading Jane's blog before making the trip, which is remarkable for its detail about the most recent developments in the archeological excavations and for its wit. I highly recommend staying at Flats in Luxor when you visit. You'll have a richer experience for it.

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Amenhotep III temple safe from flooding

Just picked this up on Facebook via Robin Young

From Dr. Hourig Sourouzian, director of the Amenhotep III Mortuary Temple Project,
"As you guessed, the news about the flooding concern the north gate of the temple of Amenhotep III , where the SCA was working, and it was irrigation water.
The part of the temple where we work is safe and the monuments untouched."
Knowing that the lower part of the temple is part of the West Bank dewatering project funded by USAID thru a grant to the American Research Center in Egypt, which has successfully lowered groundwater there, I asked Hourig if this was a breach in a dike from one of the local farms irrigation channels. Her response is as above.

Keep in mind too, while reacting, that the Temple was regularly flooded by the inundation thru the mid 1950's. I was on site the day they discovered the lowest course of intact mud brick in the foundations: still good after 5,000 years. There are some who think the temple was designed to be inundated as part of the restoration of life ritual of the mortuary cult. Bad as the current water may be, probably no lasting damage.......

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Project resumed in Luxor to protect temples from subterranean water - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Project resumed in Luxor to protect temples from subterranean water - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: 2 / 3

Following nine months of delay, an American-Egyptian mission responsible for lowering ground water at archaeological sites in Luxor resumed its work today. The project aims to decrease the subterranean water level that has affected the foundation stones of five temples in Luxor: Karnak and Luxor temples on the east bank, and Seti I, the Ramessium, and Merneptah and Haremhab on the west bank.

Today, to mark the resumption, the secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities Mostafa Amine, U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson, Governor of Luxor Ezzat Saad, and the head of the National Authority for Drinking Water and Sanitation Mohamed Mohsen inaugurated the project.

The project, which was established in 2007 at a cost of LE50 million and is funded by USAID, aims at reducing the subterranean water under these temples by channelling it into a huge reservoir connected to the main Luxor city drainage system.

Amine told Ahram Online that this reservoir will be able to gather 1,100 cubic metres of water every hour. He added that archaeologists will monitor the structural integrity of these temples in order to restore any damage that could have occurred to any of the temples’ blocks.

Collaborative work between the Council and USAID started in 1993, when almost 70 archaeological projects were conducted in different fields of excavation, restoration and training for curators.

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Tuesday, 11 October 2011

New twist in the tale of Tutankhamun's club foot - life - 11 October 2011 - New Scientist

New twist in the tale of Tutankhamun's club foot - life - 11 October 2011 - New Scientist: "IT IS normal," Robert Connolly exclaims, poring over the faded pages of an obscure, decades-old book. Connolly has found an image that appears to settle the controversy over whether the boy king Tutankhamun had a club foot. As with many mysteries related to the famous mummy, the truth is hard to pin down.

The argument started last year when a team led by Egypt's then-chief of antiquities, Zahi Hawass, reported that Tutankhamun's left foot was severely deformed.

Hawass's team CAT-scanned the mummy in January 2005. Their subsequent paper, published in 2009, noticed no foot-related problems. Then a reanalysis concluded that Tutankhamun's left foot was in a sorry state. The authors diagnosed club foot, two diseased metatarsals, and a missing toe bone (Journal of the American Medical Association, DOI: 10.1001/jama.2010.121).

The finding that Tutankhamun was disabled made headlines around the world. But Connolly - a researcher at the University of Liverpool, UK, and part of a team that X-rayed the mummy in 1968 - is convinced it is wrong.

The 1968 team was led by the late Ronald Harrison, also of Liverpool, UK. Most of his X-rays were never published, but Connolly says they show that both of Tutankhamun's feet were normal. If Connolly is right, the deformities in the scans are due to damage inflicted since 1968.

Connolly knew that the X-ray of the left foot appeared in a book Harrison had contributed to - Chronicle: Essays from ten years of television archaeology - written to accompany a TV documentary. New Scientist tracked down the book and the image shows a healthy foot.

Our excitement was short-lived, however. Though the photo (pictured) is labelled "left foot", it turned out to be a flipped image of the uncontroversial right foot.

Ashraf Selim, a radiologist at Cairo University in Egypt, who co-authored last year's paper, says the mix-up vindicates his findings that Tutankhamun's foot was deformed in life.

Yet other experts share some of Connolly's concerns. James Gamble, an orthopaedic surgeon at Stanford School of Medicine, California, says the foot must have twisted after death because the shape of the bones is normal, an impossibility in a club foot.

And Frank Rühli, at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, and co-author of the Hawass team's 2009 paper, says the abnormal metatarsals and missing toe bone are located close to an open lesion, suggesting damage might be a possible cause. Selim counters that recent damage would have caused telltale breaks in the fragile bones.

The missing X-ray of the left foot would settle the matter. Connolly's hunt continues.

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Sunday, 9 October 2011

Foreign missions resume their archaeological works in Upper Egypt - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Foreign missions resume their archaeological works in Upper Egypt - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: 3 / 3

This year’s October-December archaeological projects by foreign entities resume in full-swing under government authority.

The Permanent Committee of Antiquities (PCA), led by Mostafa Amine, secretary general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA), approved the resumption of several archaeological works carried out by foreign archaeological missions.

The Polish archaeological mission will start a comprehensive documentation at Queen Hatshepsut’s temple on Luxor’s west bank. They will focus on the archaeological features of the open court, such as the shrine for the goddess Hathor, Queen Hatshepsut’s sphinxes and the recently unearthed Osiris statues.

The German Archaeological Institute’s mission in Cairo resumes the restoration and documentation of noblemen’s tombs, also on Luxor’s west bank, but in Draa Abul Naga. Their mission also includes mapping the labourer’s huts at the Deir El-Medina area and documenting the human and animal remains found there.

Yale University’s archaeological survey will continue in the Moalla area, located between Luxor and Edfu cities. The American Research Centre in Egypt (ARCE) will carry out the restoration work on god Khunsu’s temple at the Karnak temple complex on Luxor’s east bank. Works to control the ground water level at Karnak temple will be also resumed by both American missions, as well as replacing the stony grounds of all the chapels and shrines located inside the temple.

Meanwhile, the Belgium mission from Leuven University will document, clean and restore the stone engravings located along the road from Elephantine Island, right through the Shalat area in Aswan.

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Friday, 7 October 2011

Diving in the Red Sea

What about this wonderful day trip to the Red Sea.
Diving in the Red Sea

The Modern Neighbours of Tutankamun - new book about Qurna village

Really excited about this new book by Kees van der Spek about Qurna village. Regularly readers will remember the controversy surrounding the removal of the villagers from the hillside. This book tells their story. It will be available on Amazon US and AUC in Cairo

AUC Press—Publisher’s synopsis

A historical–anthropological study of the people who lived in the antiquities precinct of Luxor’s West Bank Until their recent demolition, the colorful mud-brick hamlets of al-Qurna village, situated among the Noble Tombs of the Theban Necropolis on the Luxor West Bank, were home to a vibrant community. Inhabiting a place of intensive Egyptological research for over two centuries, it was inevitable that Qurnawis should become part of the history of Egyptology and the development of archaeological practice in the Theban Necropolis. But they have mostly been regarded as laborers for the excavation teams or dealers in the illicit antiquities trade. The modern people inhabiting the ancient burial grounds have themselves rarely been considered. By demonstrating the multiplicity of economic activities that are carried out in al-Qurna, this study counters the villagers’ stereotypical representation as tomb robbers, and restores an understanding of who they are as people living their lives in the shadow of valued cultural heritage.

Author’s Bio

KEES VAN DER SPEK is an independent scholar who lives and works in Canberra, Australia. He received his doctorate in political science and international relations in 2005 from the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University for his historical–anthropological study of the Luxor west bank community of al-Qurna, where he conducted ethnographic fieldwork during 1997, 1998, 1999, and, most recently, in 2009.


“Egypt's most famous ancient site contains a village where for hundreds of years a local community has lived and worked among the monuments. This book tells the story of this village for the first time. It offers a compelling account of the struggle, survival, and eventual dispossession of a people living precariously amid Egypt's ancient past.”
—Timothy Mitchell, Columbia University

“Kees van der Spek’s study of the Qurnawi, their close ties to Egyptology, and the effects that bureaucrats who believe theme park tourism will be the answer to Egypt’s economic problems have had on their lives, offers an important lesson for anyone concerned with protecting humankind’s patrimony and planning for Egypt’s future.”
—from the Foreword by Kent R. Weeks

“Van der Spek employs a wide range of analytical approaches with a sure touch. Even literary theory, into which many scholars sink incoherently, is made to serve clearly functional purposes in this well-written book. Readers who know little or nothing about Qurna will be effectively introduced to that unique village and its people; those who are familiar with it will find many more dimensions and subtleties than they ever expected; and those who regret its tragic loss will have this remarkable study to remember it.”
—Jason Thompson, author of A History of Egypt from Earliest Times to the Present

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep son of Hapu and Ay/Horemheb

A fellow student asked me if I had any photos of this temple and it is one of the ones I had never visited so thanks Patricia Kennedy for spuring me into action.

If you take the tiny road in front of the main ticket office and go along 1/4 of a mile or less you come to the Pharoahs Hotel. Ask them nicely and they will let you up on the roof to take photos.

The plan of the temple is very simple and although compared to Amenhotep III's temple it is tiny, compared to others it is a decent size.

From the roof you can see most of the temple, just the eastern part is obscured by the trees. it is possible that some of the rooms might give you a better view.

I then took photos go along the north side of the temple looking south, starting at the eastern edge to the west.

The next set are taken on the western edge looking East

The last set are taken on the south/west corner looking north with the hotel in the background.

Finally in front of the hotel was the mud brick remains of the temple of Ay/Horemheb. I found this quite interesting that the architect gets a stone built temple but the kings get mud brick.

So it is definitely worth a walk along this road after buying your tickets and on the way to Medinet Habu.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Ain Shams reveals a part of its history - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

The story reminded me when we were digging our swimming pool and I spent loads of time looking at it. Hubby asked why and I said well in case they find something. He then told me off for being an idiot and if they did find something that would be the end of our ownership of the land and no swimming pool. You learn :) This discovery in Cairo looks as though it happened under similar circumstances. Ain Shams reveals a part of its history - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online: Coincidence has always played a major role in discovering important archaeological sites. Among such finds are King Tutankhamen’s tomb on Luxor’s west bank and the golden funerary treasure of King Khufu’s mother Queen Hetepheres on the Giza plateau. Today, coincidence led to the discovery of an unidentified 26th Dynasty tomb in the Ain Shams area.

According to Atef Abul Dahab, head of Ancient Egyptian Antiquities, the tomb was found during routine digging work in Mansheyet Al-Tahrir Street in Ain Shams to lay the foundations of a residential house.

Workers stumbled upon what is believed to be a stony wall engraved with hieroglyphic text.

An archaeological committee from the Supreme Council of Antiquities embarked on an inspection tour and found that the wall is a part of a 26th Dynasty tomb.

Early investigations, said Abul Dahab, reveal that the tomb is empty of any treasured artefacts and inscriptions, which indicate that it had been robbed in antiquity.

Excavation work will continue to inspect the whole area and be sure that it is an empty plot free of any artefacts. The committee will then remove the tomb and hand over the land to its owner.

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Monday, 3 October 2011

New antiquities head, new plan, protestors satisfied - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

New antiquities head, new plan, protestors satisfied - Ancient Egypt - Heritage - Ahram Online

Today, in his first day in office, newly appointed Secretary General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) Mostafa Amine met with protestors camped in front of the SCA’s Abassiya building for four days.

Amine told Ahram Online that he told protestors that he agreed with Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to immediately resolve their problems and to appoint all temporary staff who have spent more than three years working at SCA.

As a first step, he asserted, 4065 temporary employees will be immediately appointed to be followed by more appointments until the almost 12,000 temporary employees are all made permanent. The protestors were convinced and promised to end their protest.

But what about fresh graduates?

Amine responded that for the time being it is impossible to hire new graduates as “We have to appoint the temporary staff first, as they have priority.” “They are among the SCA’s staff and its office echelon,” Amine pointed out, asserting, “I have to first fix the conditions of the SCA's temporary staff and then see about outsiders.”

Amine said the delay in appointing the temporary staff is not the fault of the SCA’s last secretary general, but rather is the fault of the previous government. Even the 4065 temporary employees that former Minister of Antiquities Zahi Hawass had approved appointing were not appointed due to government reluctance amid fears that other ministries would ask for the appointment of their temporary staff.

Amine also met top SCA officials and listened to their complaints. He informed them of the details of his meeting with Sharaf in an attempt to open a new page with them and other SCA staff. “I am the son of the SCA and all the staff are my colleagues,” Amine said.

Asked about the fate of Egypt's ancient monuments under his tenure, given his specialty in Islamic and Coptic monuments, Amine assured that his training would not be an obstacle to caring for ancient Egyptian monuments. “My duty is to preserve Egypt’s antiquities, whether Islamic, Coptic, Jewish and Pharaonic,” Amine confirmed.

Amine told Ahram Online that he wants some time to reorganise the SCA and its administrative and archaeological works, but he promises to complete the SCA’s mega projects such as the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) overlooking the Giza Plateau, the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC), as well as removing all encroachment at Al-Muizz Street and at Sphinxes Avenue in Luxor in order to reopen it soon.

Amine said that his first decisions as SCA secretary general were to appoint former secretary general Mohamed Abdel Fatah as the head of the NMEC Supreme Committee, and Adel Abdel Satar to head the Islamic and Coptic Antiquities Department. Amine was formerly head of that department.

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